Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Isn't The Environment Just A Big Bother?

Today's news brings the word that in order to complete the remaining border fence/wall between the Southwestern US and Mexico, a fence many think will never actually fulfill its proposed mission (We're talking actual fence here, not the "virtual" fence, which the feds themselves already acknowledge is not working.), The Bush administration is proposing to bypass more than thirty environmental and land-management laws and regulations. (Emphasis added.) The area under consideration here is parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas that are home to many threatened species,the endangered jaguar, America's largest native cat, to name just one. Fence construction and the fence itself once completted will cause habitat and migration corridor disruption for these species. Our friends in Congress have granted the waivers to the Department of Homeland Security, to the delight of gun-toting conservatives and the consternation of groups like The Nature Conservancy, Sierra club and Defenders of Wildlife. Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife, made the following statement yesterday in response to this decision:

Thanks to this action by the Bush administration, the border is in a sense more lawless now than when Americans first started moving west.

Laws ensuring clean water for us and our children—dismissed. Laws protecting wildlife, land, rivers, streams and places of cultural significance—just a bother to the Bush administration. Laws giving American citizens a voice in the process—gone.
Clearly this is out of control.

It is this kind of absolute disregard for the well-being and concerns of border communities and the welfare of our wildlife and untamed borderlands that has forced Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club to take a stand and say ‘No more!’

Just a few weeks ago we filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to fight the unconstitutional authority the Bush administration has seized to waive any and all laws it views as inconvenient in its rush to build an unpopular, ineffective border wall. Today’s egregious abuse of power is more proof that this cannot be allowed to continue.
Most of the lands where the border fence is being constructed are protected federal lands, National Monuments and Forests containing species that occur nowhere else in the United States. For more from Defenders of Wildlife on the impact of current federal immigration policy on the environment, read this paper, On The Line, about the Arizona borderlands alone.

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posted at 1:55:00 PM by marigolds2

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